It can seem counterintuitive not to do something just because you do it well. When I stood in front of the paintings in my undergraduate thesis exhibition I realized that there is purpose beyond the slick hyper realism rendering of reality. Because I was so eager to deliver a specific message, and achieve a predetermined measure of perfection, I had masked most of myself in the artwork by focusing narrowly on what it was supposed to mean, and supposed to look like.
As contemporary humans, and artists, we are susceptible to conditioning. Being so preoccupied with the desired outcome – our concrete definition of success – only serves to distract from the pleasures of expression. We are smart, but are we too smart? This indication of our advancement as species is the very thing that can take ahold of our creativity and marginalize its relevance. Without making room for the things that don’t pertain to the standards we have set, we miss the potential to unleash the best part of ourselves.
“At each stage I reach a balance, a conclusion. At the next sitting, if I find that there is a weakness in the whole, I make my way back into the picture by means of the weakness – I reenter though the breach – and I reconceive the whole. Thus everything becomes fluid again.” – Henri Matisse
Although the modern equation in which we live suggests otherwise, truly embracing the essence of who we are does not rely on our ability to accomplish but in embracing the resulting flaws of our efforts. Because our true nature is not to fulfill a preconceived notion of how things should be; our flaws are what make us absolutely unarguably different from every other single person.
Our flaws give us identity.